International airfreight markets in April showed modest expansion year-over-year, but it does not buck the 18-month trend of basically no growth in the cargo markets, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Air cargo volume rose 1.4 last month compared to April 2012 to help offset the 2.6 percent decline recorded in March from the year-ago period, according to the latest IATA statistics.
Growth in emerging markets was strong enough to counterbalance weaknesses in the major aviation regions, but overall growth remains feeble, the organization added.
“We saw a brief rally in cargo markets at the end of 2012. But that has clearly stalled. Fortunately, the small improvement in April means that economic conditions have not deteriorated to the point of starting a market contraction. And if we look to emerging markets—particularly Latin America and the Middle East—we do see some encouraging signs of growth,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
By region, Asia-Pacific carriers saw a 0.4 percent fall in freight in April compared to April 2012 as overall business confidence softened, indicating a sluggish manufacturing sector.
North American airlines saw airfreight volumes fall 0.1 percent in April this year, which nonetheless is an improvement on the 6.5 percent fall in March, while European carriers saw an increase in airfreight demand of just 0.9 percent.
Middle East airlines saw their freight business expand at a healthy 8.6 percent, and Latin American airlines experienced the highest growth in demand with a 12.2 percent expansion. African airlines saw airfreight demand grow by 1.4 percent.